In the past few weeks, I've seen many articles come out about Yakeen Ka Safar, praising the show and drawing in new viewers. Despite being a viewer from day 1, I refrained from writing about this particular show in detail. This the excerpt from the last time I wrote about this show (back in June):
Intense. Grim. Painfully real. Depicts the true reality of our society. These are the first things that come to mind when describing this drama. "Gumaan ke baad yakeen ka safar" - so far, there is so much gumaan and I'm still clinging on with my fingernails for some yakeen to begin.
Sajal Ali's story as Zubia is interesting, but I'm waiting for it to really take off. While I'm glad her once-evil father has had a change of heart, it goes to show that your children end up being a mirror of their parents. To see her once-loving brother Rehan turn against her thanks to their upbringing (and her evil Bhabi) is disheartening and absolutely realistic. I'm looking forward to watching her interactions with Asfandyar (Ahad Raza Mir).
On the other end, we've been seeing Daniyal (Shaz Khan) fighting to defend the honor of his client - however, he's taking on the son of a politician and that's put him in a dangerous position. In the latest episode, we witnessed a huge twist with Daniyal being shot. Will he make it? Did he die? That's what I'm waiting for anxiously. Shaz Khan's chemistry with Hira Salman is seriously adorable, so I am hoping this isn't the end for the duo. Things are looking grim though....
All in all, this is an intense drama and not for anyone looking for something light-hearted. The story is solid though and I'm expecting for it to only get better from here (hopefully).
Since then, the show has leaped forward by heaps and bounds, changing directions entirely while still remaining tied to the plot. When this show began, it was heavily action-packed, full of social messages, namely the fight of the oppressed vs. the oppressors. The characters were idealistic, full of passion, energy and youth. At present, the show is much more subdued, more emotional than action-packed, dealing with the long term effects of grief and loss.
When Yakeen Ka Safar first began, it felt like wading through shallow water in a river with uncertainty as to when the floor would drop. From the get-go, Yakeen Ka Safar moved with a quiet calm towards a ragingly powerful yet subtle story.
What is Yakeen Ka Safar about? The effect upbringing has on children, social injustice, the corrupt system in Pakistan, marital abuse, social stigma that women face, feminism, the importance of female education, mental health, the different ways people grieve and how they deal with that grief, forgiveness and, finally, love are all themes that Yakeen Ka Safar touches upon. However, there is not a single moment of preaching in the show, rather these themes are presented so naturally and realistically.
However, at its very core, Yakeen Ka Safar is about the predictable: it's a love story. What makes this love story so unique? I honestly could not see this love story emerging between these two characters until over half the show had gone by. Yakeen Ka Safar kept me on my toes, yet moved with such an unpredictability, much like life - and that is what's refreshing.
For those who have not seen the show yet, first of all, I'll say what are you waiting for? I've been recommending this show to anyone willing to listen, but with the disclaimer that it is not a fast-paced show that follows a predictable path. That being said, it's beautiful and easily the best thing on television after "Baaghi" and "Mujhe Jeene Do." It has been a long time since a drama has kept me waiting for each week to pass in order to watch a new episode. Wednesdays have fast become my favorite day of the week thanks to YKS.
Getting to the story, let's do a quick recap.
The story tells the tale of two families - one being Zubia's family (Sajal Ali). Zubia's family consists of an abusive father, a docile yet loving mother, a brother and her bhabi. An abusive husband, Zubia's father accidentally kills Zubia's mother in a domestic dispute and then covers up the abuse by threatening his children. While her father later repents and changes his focus in life towards Zubia's happiness, his previous behavior has already left its imprint on Zubia's brother Rehan, pushed further by his practically-evil wife. During a low point of her life, Zubia makes a questionable decision that leads to her to disgrace, only to be rescued in a chance encounter by Asfandyar.
Asfandyar's family is a well to do, educated family headed by lawyer Usman. His foreign educated son Daniyal (Shaz Khan) followed in his father's footsteps and is also a lawyer. Daniyal is married to his cousin and childhood sweetheart Geti (Hira Salman), while Asfandyar (Ahad Raza Mir) - who is in med school and very fun loving - is engaged to another cousin, Faryal. This tight-knit family is shown as a very happy, loving family - until Daniyal takes on a case with an NGO, fighting for a poor woman gang-raped by a politician's son. Daniyal is directly framed for attempted rape by said politician, in an effort to ruin Daniyal's reputation, and the story reaches a heightened level at this point. Lawyer Usman's family moves to a small town to escape the pain life has dealt them.
On the other end, Zubia has graduated from med school, but is unable to escape her past. At every turn, she finds blame being thrown her way and people looking at her with suspicion, being labeled a "ghar se bhaagi hui ladki" (a woman who once ran away from home). In an effort to escape this label, she takes up a job at a hospital in a small town - a hospital run by Dr. Asfandyar.
It is here where the story truly begins, healing begins and we see the light at the end of the tunnel.
At present, the story finally gave the viewers a sense of relief and closure regarding one storyline, only to throw us into grief once again in the most recent episode. Once again, I am waiting with baited breath for the next episode, wondering what course this show is about to tread. Will our main characters, Zubia and Asfandyar, find peace in each other? Will Geti get the happy ending she so deserves?
Coming to performances, there isn't one performer here that outshines anyone else. Everyone has done a commendable job. That being said, Ahad Raza Mir is a gem. While he had presence in "Sammi," here he shines brighter than any other star on television at present in the character of Asfandyar. Asfandyar, as a character, has become the sort of heartthrob role that Fawad Khan's Asher had been in Humsafar. A role that turns an actor into a star- Ahad Raza Mir is well onto his way of being a star. His subtle performance as Asfandyar is endearing - whether it's the youthful, spirited Asfi or the serious, brooding Dr. Asfandyar, Ahad plays this role as a natural.
Sajal Ali as Zubia is perfect for the role. Quiet and self-guarded, Zubia has learned to keep to herself and protect herself from those around her. Sajal's acting only adds to the brilliant writing, displaying Zubia's pain with her eyes, namely as she guards herself from her own feelings towards Asfandyar.
Hina Salman as Geti is a complete natural. Her anguish is displayed with a quiet calm, masked by a sad smile. Shaz Khan shines in his role as Daniyal, a role so prominent to the story and his presence is felt throughout the show.
Sabiha Somar and Farhan Ali Agha excel as Asfandyar and Daniyal's parents, emoting so well that you can't remember them in any other role while they are on screen. They ARE the parents of these two boys, broken-hearted and grieving.
The side characters are equally endearing, especially Mani as Dr. Haroon and the rest of the hospital staff.
While the show is inching towards a conclusion with only 2-3 episodes left, I am already beginning to feel a void "Yakeen Ka Safar is the sort of show that doesn't come around that often. Each episode leaves behind an emotional impact and teaches you to really appreciate the relationships in your life - and to extend your hand to others, as everyone has a past, feels pain and needs support.
I'm eagerly waiting for the remaining episodes of YKS and hope you are too. If you aren't already watching, you should be! Happy watching!
(Pictures courtesy Hum TV)